MCCRC among 115 organizations demanding surveillance reform

Surveillance State

Surveillance State

Dear Members of Congress,

We write to express our concern about recent reports published in the Guardian and the Washington Post, and acknowledged by the Obama Administration, which reveal secret spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on phone records and Internet activity of people in the United States.

The Washington Post and the Guardian recently published reports based on information provided by a intelligence contractor showing how the NSA and the FBI are gaining broad access to data collected by nine of the leading U.S. Internet companies and sharing this information with foreign governments. As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. As a result, the contents of communications of people both abroad and in the U.S. can be swept in without any suspicion of crime or association with a terrorist organization.

Leaked reports also published by the Guardian and confirmed by the Administration reveal that the NSA is also abusing a controversial section of the PATRIOT Act to collect the call records of millions of Verizon customers. The data collected by the NSA includes every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other “identifying information” for millions of Verizon customers, including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those customers have ever been suspected of a crime. The Wall Street Journal has reported that other major carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, are subject to similar secret orders.

This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously, guard against unreasonable searches and seizures, and protect their right to privacy.

We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s and the FBI’s data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:

1. Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;

2. Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;

3. Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Access
Advocacy for Principled Action in Government
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union of California
American Library Association
Americans for Job Security
Americans for Limited Government
Amicus
Art is Change
Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Association of Research Libraries
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
BoingBoing
Bradley Manning Support Network
Breadpig
Californians Aware
Calyx Institute
Campaign for Liberty
Canvas
Center for Democracy and Technology
Center for Digital Democracy
Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
Center for Media and Democracy
Center for Media Justice
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Constitutional Alliance
Consumer Action
Consumer Watchdog
CorpWatch
CREDO Mobile
Cyber Privacy Project
Daily Kos
Defending Dissent Foundation
Demand Progress
Detroit Digital Justice Coalition
Digital Fourth
Downsize DC
DuckDuckGo
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Frontiers Australia, Inc.
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Entertainment Consumers Association
Fight for the Future
Firedoglake
Firstamendment.com
Floor64
Foundation for Innovation and Internet Freedom
4Chan
Free Press
Free Software Foundation
Freedom of the Press Foundation
FreedomWorks
Friends of Privacy USA
Fund for Constitutional Government
Get FISA Right
Government Accountability Project
Green Party (United States)
Greenpeace USA
Institute of Popular Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA)
Internet Archive
isen.com, LLC
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
Law Life Culture
Liberty Coalition
Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association
May First/People Link
Media Alliance
Media Mobilizing Project, Philadelphia
Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition
MoveOn
Mozilla
Namecheap
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Security Counselors
New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC
New York Civil Liberties Union
Open Technology Institute
OpenMedia.org
OpentheGovernment.org
Participatory Politics Foundation
Patient Privacy Rights
People for the American Way
Personal Democracy Media
PolitiHacks
Popular Resistance
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (Ottawa, Canada)
Project on Government Oversight
Public Knowledge
Privacy Activism
Privacy Camp
Privacy Journal
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Privacy Times
Progressive Librarians Guild
reddit
Represent.us
Restore America’s Voice
Rights Working Group
Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association
RootsAction.org
Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic
Sunlight Foundation
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
TechFreedom
Tenth Amendment Center
The AIDS Policy Project, Philadelphia
The Other 98%
ThoughtWorks
350.org
TURN-The Utility Reform Network
Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center
William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI)
World Wide Web Foundation

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One Response to MCCRC among 115 organizations demanding surveillance reform

  1. Pingback: Coalition visits Congressman Van Hollen to press surveillance reform | Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition

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